Al-Qaeda militants today tried to overrun an army post in the Kud district of Yemen's restive Abyan province, sparking a fierce firefight in which five soldiers were killed, a military official said.
"Five soldiers were killed and four others were wounded during clashes in Kud south of Zinjibar," Abyan's provincial capital where the army has been battling extremists since last May, the official said.
A medic confirmed the toll.
The military official could not say whether the extremists had managed to take command of the army post but said troops in surrounding areas had rushed to join the battle.
Another official said that the militants had seized heavy weapons, accusing some army leaders of "collaborating" with al-Qaeda.
Today's attack followed clashes during the night between the army and militants in the Abyan provincial capital Zinjibar in which four al-Qaeda fighters were killed, according to army officials.
Zinjibar has fallen mostly under the control of al-Qaeda linked militants since May last year.